Monday, September 12, 2011

Numbers . . .

Numbers fill our lives. So many areas of our lives are dominated by them. This past week, like most Americans, I was consumed with the numbers of 9/11/2001. The date. The time. The flight numbers. How many died. How many were never accounted for. How many rescued. How many still deployed fighting for our freedom.

But the number I was most consumed with this past week was ONE. On that dreadful morning, I was glued to the TV with my husband and father-in-law. I saw the second plane hit, live. It was all so surreal. Then a few minutes later I was jolted out of my state of shock and filled with complete horror. It was only a few brief seconds. But there, right in front of me, on live tv, I watched as one person jumped to his death from around the 100th floor. THAT ONE person is what I remember most from the whole day. I don't know his name, race, social status, family history, or anything else about him. But I watched as he chose to end his life by jumping rather than burning to death in the inferno of the tower.

As I pondered this for most of last week, it struck me how most numbers have a greater impact on us as they get larger. Weight. Blood pressure. Bank account. Age. Miles traveled. Years married. How many grandchildren. But it struck me as odd that the incredibly large numbers related to human suffering seem to be so overwhelming that they just float off into the oblivion of memory.  How many people die every year of starvation, disease, abuse, murder, war? Yet for most of us, it doesn't really affect our daily activity unless it involves that ONE that we know, love, care for. For me, 9/11 is all about that ONE man. Every one who died that day was that ONE for someone. A spouse, child, brother or sister, co-worker. I believe this is much like how our Father sees things. We see a huge tragedy, thousands killed, our nation rocked to it's core. God sees that ONE, every single ONE, individually, as his child. Not just on 9/11, but every day.

There is no real comforting thought here that makes everything ok. Horrible things happen, even to the best of people. Yet I know that above all things, God is sovereign. I am so overwhelmed and in awe of how He loves. And I am confident that I can believe in things hoped for and things unseen because He has proven His faithfulness to me. My heart breaks for those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and since then. But I hope that the lesson in all of this for me is that, like that ONE who has kept those memories so real from that day, that I will view other tragic events in the same light. I don't want to get lost in the large numbers. Every life lost has meaning. Every soul saved is reason for rejoicing. We live in a world that is dying to find hope and I know where it's found. I pray that I find courage to share with those I come in contact with. Make me a light in the darkness, Father!  

May God continue to bless America, but mostly, may He have mercy on us.


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